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Original article

The orthoptic role and experiences in breaking bad news


Nana Theodorou

Orthoptic Department, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield
About Nana
PhD BMedSci (Hons)
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Aim: This was a service development study to explore the role of orthoptists in the process of breaking bad news in an out-patient setting and develop provision of education and support for orthoptists carrying out this role.

Methods: A questionnaire was adopted following a similar study conducted in 2007 in an in-patient setting. The original questionnaire was developed using Likert scales and open text questions. Data collection took place in 2010. Nine out of 14 (64%) distributed questionnaires were returned.

Results: Orthoptists engage in diverse activities that involve breaking bad news at many points in the patient care pathway. Little formal education or support for this work had been received.

Conclusions: Guidance for breaking bad news should encompass the whole process (before and after the immediate news-breaking) and acknowledge the challenges orthoptists face. Developments in education and support are required that reflect the challenges clinical staff encounter in the out-patient care setting.

How to Cite: Theodorou, N., 2012. The orthoptic role and experiences in breaking bad news. British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, 9, pp.59–62. DOI:
Published on 01 Aug 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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